22 Jun 2011

karohemd: Gentoo penguins in Antarctica, by me (Hungry)
Another one, I hear you cry? Well, yes, thanks for asking but I had to because I was recommended a dessert I didn't want to miss before it came off the menu.
This time I had a tasting menu:

Alimentum - Mushroom veloute with Coffee

The amuse bouche, a mushroom velouté with, wait for it, coffee. We had this when we were there for my birthday and I remember something interesting flavour wise but couldn't put my finger on it, now I know. This is one of those combinations that, when you read it, shouldn't really work but it does.

Alimentum - Asparagus, Goat's Cheese Ice Cream

The first dish was a combination of raw and cooked white and green asparagus with goats' cheese ice cream (savoury). All very fresh in flavour and there were great contrasts of warm and cold, crunchy and soft. I really like white asparagus now. :)

Alimentum - Quail

Then, a ballotine and terrine of quail with savoy cabbage and truffle. The flavours in this were rather subtle (not a bad thing!) and the textures varied. There were soft bits, chewy bits and crunchy bits.

Alimentum - Langoustine, Pork Belly, Cauliflower

Moving along, a seafood/pork combination in the shape of a slice of pork belly so soft you could separate with a spoon, topped with langoustine, topped with avruga, sitting in a cauliflower veloute, garnished with thin slices of cauliflower. One could think that the strong meaty flavour of the pork would overpower the subtleness of the langoustine but that wasn't the case at all, they complimented each other nicely. The avruga provided little pops of salt and the smooth cauliflower veloute a warm coating for everything. Dancing tastebuds.

Alimentum - Lamb Three Ways

The main: lamb three ways (rump, breast and sweetbreads) with courgette and sundried tomato couscous. Each part was cooked differently, providing different textures. The rolled breast was crispy, the rump slow cooked and the sweetbreads seared. My tastebuds were dancing propably even more here.

Alimentum - Strawberry, Elderflower, Lime

The Grand Finale: A dessert of strawberries, elderflower curd and lime. This dessert was the main reason I had gone back so quickly after last month's visit because I didn't want to miss it and it came highly recommended by a number of people whose tastebuds I trust and they weren't lying. Again, it was the combination of flavours and textures that made it: the fresh fruitiness of the strawberries (fresh and icecream), the sweetness of the elderflower curd and the zingy and crunchy lime.

Another part of the experience was the "flight" of wines, one glass with every course and this is where I fail as I can't remember them all but each one of them was a perfect match with the dish. What I do remember was the '98(!) Chardonnay with the langoustine course, a Chianti Classico with the lamb and a Coteaux du Layon with the dessert. This (and a glass of champagne to start) had been quite an amount of alcohol so I politely declined the kind offer of spirits as another measure would have sent me straight to sleep at the cinema.

Huge thanks for the invitation go to head chef Mark and brigade for the food and sommelier Kyle for the wines as well as the rest of the Front of House team for looking after me. Good service (polite and attentive without being overbearing) is just as important as good food at a restaurant and Alimentum has all of that.
Every time I go there I think they won't be able to top my experience the following time but they always do.

April 2016

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